28 Jul OOB Final 30 Countdown – John Minigan
There are only ten days until the OOB Festival! The anticipation is overwhelming, but thankfully John Minigan can help us out today.
John Minigan is thrilled to have work in the OOB Festival for the third time and to be produced by Hey, Jonte! for the sixth time. His plays have been produced in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia and published in the Best Ten-Minute Plays and New England New Play anthologies. His full-lengths have been developed at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and the New American Playwrights Project and performed in Boston, Chicago, New York, Salt Lake City, and elsewhere. He is a three-time winner of the Firehouse New Works Contest, a winner of the Nantucket Short Play Contest, the Rover Dramawerks Competition, the Longwood 0-60 Contest, New York’s 8-Minute Madness Festival, the Nor’Eastern Playwriting Contest, Seoul Players Contest, and the KNOCK International Short Play Competition. When not writing, John teaches theater, writing and Shakespeare. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?
I’d been writing poetry and prose ever since my fifth grade teacher raved about the brilliance of my (largely plagiarized) first short story. But I spent most of my time on poetry until a friend asked me to help direct a play. It was immediately clear that the people in the rehearsal hall were more interesting than the one sitting at my writing desk, and I’ve been writing plays ever since.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
The play is based loosely on a story an older teacher told me in my first year as an English teacher. He’d been sent to Montreal to rescue an older, slightly unhinged mentor of his–and he was able to complete that task pretty easily. His success wasn’t very interesting, but the “What ifs” were.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
Slow. Curious. Slow. Eclectic. Slow.
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
For this play, Michel Tremblay. (I read a lot of Canadian playwrights in grad school.) But I am inspired by Edward Albee, Harold Pinter, Wendy Wasserstein, August Wilson, Melinda Lopez. And Boston playwrights Alan Brody and Shawn Cody convinced me I should do this when I thought I never could.
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
I was a math major and taught high school math for four years.
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
King Lear, The Laramie Project, The Suicide, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Heidi Chronicles, The Piano Lesson, The Dumbwaiter, The Illusion.
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
I’m very excited about a new full-length, The Queen of Sad Mischance, which is currently “in development,” and about backer’s readings this fall in NYC for my full-length Breaking the Shakespeare Code, last seen in the city at NYFringe in 2014.
His play Easter at the Entrée Gold will be performed on August 9th at 6:30pm. It features the novice teacher, Peter, who arrives at a posh Montreal hotel suite to give his seemingly-incapacitated mentor Leverett a ride back to the states. As Peter uncovers the reason for Leverett’s flight from their school, he learns that the older man’s goals have more to do with Peter’s secrets than with covering up his own.